NFL Pick’off – Week 17


Want to find out the winning formula for NFL Sunday?

That’s it for the 2016 regular season, thanks for reading.

I’ve proven to myself that gambling on NFL football is a fickle mistress. It’s a labyrinth of misery disguised as easy money most weekends.

The Catch-22 of wagering, is the games are so much more entertaining with a little something riding on them, but 40-50% of the time you lose.

If you want to accelerate your degenerative ways, might I suggest the Super Contest next year. Just promise me 9% of your winnings for the referral.

Each Sunday I make my selections “Straight-Up” (SU) and “Against The Spread” (ATS) from the slate of games.

The team listed in bold is the straight up pick, where as the red +/- indicates the pick when including the Vegas line.

I’ll provide a brief sentence or two of nonsense or logic (depending on the outcome), for what led me to that choice.

I’ll be competing against Catch-22’s NFL Senior Editor (Mark Staniusz) throughout the season, and I will list his picks below.

Week 16 Results:

Mark 9-5 SU / 9-5 ATS

Phil 7-7 SU / 6-8 ATS



Houston (+3.5) @ Tennessee

The Ballad of Tom Savage is an epic 14-minute long jam just waiting to hatch from some earthy band you’ve never heard of. Musical divergence aside, we’re riding with Matt Cassel in this one. No, I haven’t been drinking.

Buffalo @ NY Jets (+3.5)

The complexities of this outcome should be more apparent, but the’re not. The Ryan brothers got an early end to the season and that will result in a closely contested game. Yes, I’m pulling straws here, but how disheartened must these teams be? Lets move on…

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (+1)

Two usual suspects in the AFC playoff mix are on the outside looking in. I wouldn’t make a play on this game unless there was a gun to your head. It seems like a diabolical coin flip and the least logical thing to do would be to take the Bengals. I’ll probably regret this.

NY Giants (+7.5) @ Washington

This game ending in a tie would be soooo 2016. However, this match will be played in 2017 and the Washington Professional Gridiron Football Team are playing for their lives with Kirk Cousins at the helm… What could go wrong?

Jacksonville (+4.5) @ Indianapolis

Blake Bortles had an out of body experience last week against the Titans. Can he put two good Sundays together consecutively? This is a burning question entering Week 17. I say he comes up medium, so don’t press your Luck.

Dallas @ Philadelphia (-5.5)

You know the Eagles are going to treat this like their Super Bowl right? Jim Schwartz will pull out every defensive trick in the book to embarrass Dallas. It’s going to be a loooong afternoon for Mark Sanchez.

Chicago (+6) @ Minnesota

Poor Vikings fans. I feel for ’em, I really do. From the Blair Walsh miss in the playoffs, to the 5-0 start to the 2016 season, to a slow and painful collapse. Even Adrian Peterson returning adds more fuel to this emotional clusterfu*k of a season. At least a win here gets the Vikes to 8-8.

Carolina (+4) @ Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers have a <1% chance to make the playoffs after all that effort. Somehow, that seems about right. (So if you’re keeping track at home, the Buccaneers need to cover a nine-team parlay to reach the playoffs. And FPI projects an 0.0016 percent chance that all nine of those games go Tampa Bay’s way).

Cleveland (+5.5) @ Pittsburgh

Buyer beware with the Steelers resting their key players. The Browns will flirt with winning this game before they revert back to being the 1-15 Browns. And in a somewhat related story, the 2008 Lions are still celebrating from last weekend.

New Orleans (+7.5) @ Atlanta

The Over/Under for this game is currently at 56.5. That’s a line usually reserved for college football. This will be a flat out track meet with both teams exchanging TD’s like a gift swap in Secret Santa.

New England @ Miami (+9.5)

Did you know the Raiders brain trust once turned down an opportunity to hire Bill Belichick for a head coaching position? That seems somewhat irrelevant to any sliver of analysis to offer here. At this stage I’m just writing a sentence, and we’re on to Arizona @ Los Angeles.

Arizona (-6.5) @ Los Angeles

Remember when the Cardinals were a game away from going to the Super Bowl earlier this year? Me neither. Regardless, I can assure you losing to the Rams is not in the forecast for the Desert Birds.

Kansas City @ San Diego (+4.5)

Watch the Chargers put in an immense amount of effort after losing to the Browns. This game will prove to be highly entertaining and is another riddle if you’re seriously gambling on this outcome. I’d keep the defibrillator handy on Sunday.

Seattle @ San Francisco (+9.5)

Initially, I had the Seahawks easily covering the 9.5. Upon further reflection, it seems like Seattle is missing a bit of its luster this season. My compass could be waaaay off on this one, but I see the 9’ers keeping this one somewhat close.

Oakland @ Denver (-1.5)

I got a real dumb look on my face staring down the line in this game. Ironically, I’ve usually had something resembling a real dumb look on my face when I’ve checked the results of my NFL picks in 2016.

Green Bay @ Detroit (+3)

To realize that all your life – you know, all your love, all your hate, all your memories, all your pain – it was all the same thing. It was all the same dream, a dream that you had inside a locked room, a dream about winning a Super Bowl. And like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.

2016 Season: 116-86-2 (SU) / 87-107-10 (ATS)



Houston (+3.5) @ Tennessee

Buffalo (-3.5) @ NY Jets

Baltimore (-1) @ Cincinnati

NY Giants (+7.5) @ Washington

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-4.5)

Dallas (+5.5) @ Philadelphia

Chicago (+6) @ Minnesota

Carolina (+4) @ Tampa Bay

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-5.5)

New Orleans (+7.5) @ Atlanta

New England @ Miami (+9.5)

Arizona (-6.5) @ Los Angeles

Kansas City (-4.5) @ San Diego

Seattle (-9.5) @ San Francisco

Oakland (+1.5) @ Denver

Green Bay (-3) @ Detroit

2016 Season: 127-76-2 (SU) / 99-95-10 (ATS)


*All NFL point spreads from www.vegasinsider.com (VI Consensus) as of 3 PM EST


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Follow authors: @Phil_Jones2020 and @MarkStaniusz



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